A brow lift or forehead lift is a procedure that restores a more youthful, refreshed look to the area above the eyes. The procedure corrects drooping brows and improves the horizontal lines and furrows that can make a person appear angry, sad, or tired.
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In a brow lift, the muscles and tissues that cause the furrowing or drooping are removed or altered to smooth the forehead, raise the eyebrows and minimize frown lines. Your surgeon may use the conventional surgical method, in which the incision is hidden just behind the hairline, or it may be performed with the use of an endoscope, a viewing instrument that allows the procedure to be performed with minimal incisions. Both techniques yield similar results – smoother forehead skin and a more animated appearance.
If you’re considering a brow lift, this page will provide a basic understanding of the procedure – when it can help, how it’s performed and what results you can expect. It won’t answer all of your questions since a lot depends on your individual circumstances. Be sure to ask your doctor if there is anything you don’t understand about the procedure.
Dr. Scott Holley has years of experience in current, customized brow lift procedures. Find out for yourself how a brow lift can take years off your face and restore a more energetic appearance. Request a consultation online or contact West Michigan Plastic Surgery by phone at (269) 222-1611.
A brow lift is most commonly performed in the 40-60 age range to minimize the visible effects of aging. However, it can also help people of any age who have developed furrows or frown lines due to stress or muscle activity. Individuals with inherited conditions, such as a low, heavy brow or furrowed lines above the nose can achieve a more alert and refreshed look with this procedure.
Kalamazoo brow lift is often performed in conjunction with a facelift to provide a smoother overall look to the face. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) may also be performed at the same time as a brow lift, especially if a patient has significant skin overhang in the upper eyelids. Sometimes, patients who believe they need upper-eyelid surgery find that a brow lift better meets their surgical goals.
Patients who are bald, who have a receding hairline, or who have had previous upper-eyelid surgery may still be good candidates for a brow lift. The surgeon will simply alter the incision location or perform a more conservative operation.
Remember, a brow lift can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them in detail with your doctor.
Complications are rare and usually minor when a brow lift is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. Yet, the possibility of complications must be considered.
You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following your surgeon’s instructions both before and after surgery.
For a better understanding of how a brow lift might change your appearance, look into a mirror and place the palms of your hands at the outer edges of your eyes, above your eyebrows. Gently draw the skin up to raise the brow and the forehead area. That is approximately what a brow lift would do for you.
If you decide to consult a plastic surgeon, he or she will first evaluate your face, including the skin and underlying bone.
During your consultation, the surgeon will discuss your goals for the surgery and ask you about certain medical conditions that could cause problems during or after the procedure, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood-clotting problems, or the tendency to develop large scars. Be sure to tell the surgeon if you have had previous facial surgery, if you smoke, or if you take any drugs or medications – including aspirin or other drugs that affect clotting.
If you decide to proceed with a Battle Creek or Kalamazoo brow lift, your surgeon will explain the surgical technique, the recommended type of anesthesia, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed, the risks and the costs involved. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results of surgery.
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions to prepare for the procedure, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and on taking and avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery and your recovery proceed more smoothly.
If your hair is very short, you may wish to let it grow out before surgery, so that it’s long enough to hide the scars while they heal.
Whether your brow lift is done in an outpatient facility or in the hospital, you should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a day or two.
A brow lift is usually done in a surgeon’s office-based facility or an outpatient surgery center. It is occasionally done in a hospital.
Most brow lifts are performed under local anesthesia, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You’ll be awake but relaxed, and although you may feel some tugging and mild discomfort, your forehead will be insensitive to pain.
Some surgeons prefer to use general anesthesia; in which case, you’ll sleep through the entire operation.
Your surgeon will help you decide which surgical approach will best achieve your cosmetic goals: the classic or open method, or the endoscopic brow lift. Make sure you understand the technique that your surgeon recommends and why he feels it is best for you.
THE CLASSIC BROW LIFT
THE ENDOSCOPIC BROW LIFT
The immediate post-operative experience for a patient who has had a classic brow lift may differ significantly from a patient who had the procedure performed endoscopically.
Classic brow lift patients may experience some numbness and temporary discomfort around the incision, which can be controlled with prescription medication. Patients who are prone to headaches may be treated with an additional longer-acting local anesthesia during surgery as a preventive measure.
You may be told to keep your head elevated for two to three days following surgery to keep the swelling down. Swelling may also affect the cheeks and eyes – however, this should begin to disappear in a week or so.
As the nerves heal, numbness on the top of your scalp may be replaced by itching. These sensations may take as long as six months to fully disappear. If bandages were used, they will be removed a day or two after surgery. Most stitches or clips will be removed within two weeks, sometimes in two stages.
Some of your hair around the incision may fall out and may temporarily be a bit thinner. Normal growth will usually resume within a few weeks or months. Permanent hair loss is rare.
Endoscopic brow lift patients may experience some numbness, incision discomfort and mild swelling.
Incision site pain is usually minimal but can be controlled with medication, if necessary. Endoscopic brow lift patients usually experience less of the itching sensation felt by patients who have had the classic brow lift.
The stitches or staples used to close the incisions are usually removed within a week and the temporary fixation screws within two weeks.
Although you should be up and about in a day or two, plan on taking it easy for at least the first week after surgery. You should be able to shower and shampoo your hair within two days, or as soon as the bandage is removed.
Most patients are back to work or school in a week to ten days. Endoscopic patients may feel ready to return even sooner. Vigorous physical activity should be limited for several weeks, including jogging, bending, heavy housework, sex, or any activity that increases your blood pressure. Prolonged exposure to heat or the sun should be limited for several months.
Most of the visible signs of surgery should fade completely within about three weeks. Minor swelling and bruising can be concealed with special camouflage makeup. You may feel a bit tired and let down at first, but your energy level will increase as you begin to look and feel better.
Most patients are pleased with the results of a brow lift, no matter which surgical method was used. Often, patients don’t realize how much their sagging forehead contributed to the signs of aging until they see how much younger and more rested they appear after the lift.
Although a brow lift does not stop the clock, it can minimize the appearance of aging for years. As time passes, you may want to repeat the procedure.
Portage and Battle Creek board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Scott Holley, and the team at West Michigan Plastic Surgery understand that each patient has different motivations and goals for his or her procedure. Experience for yourself the advantages of high-quality care, natural and beautiful outcomes, and an understanding surgeon when you contact West Michigan Plastic Surgery today at (269) 222-1611, or online by clicking the button below.Contact Us